San Diego Padres’ pitcher Mat Latos turned heads with his breakout performance on the mound in 2010. He did it again with three autographs.
Latos and the Padres lost a close NL West division race to the Giants on the last day of the season, a frustrating end to what had been an unexpectedly great season. The Giants, of course, went on to win the World Series.
The 23-year-old ace lost that last game but pitched well all year, finishing 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 31 starts.
doing a signing with American Icon Autographs recently, Latos agreed to sign three baseballs with the inscription “I Hate SF!”…a good- natured jab at the team that ended his season. Half of the proceeds of what became an eBay auction were designated for the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
American Icon, which sells a variety of sports and…um…”adult” type signed items, wrote in the listing that “Mat signed these baseballs in the spirit of friendly competition with the Padres’ NL West rivals”.
One ball sold quickly Wednesday morning for $299. A second one sold later as word of the auction spread via the internet. Giants fans weren’t happy.
“I did it all in fun,” Latos said. “It’s no disrespect to them. It was for charity.”
Here’s a link to one of the completed auctions which includes photos of the signing session.